Wednesday, April 22, 2009


We all know that the influence of corporate and special interest lobbyists has shaped much of what the government has dictated to the population.

Well, those groups may have less influence in our NY State Comptrollers office since he has systematically dissolved the process that allowed them to do so.

Today, Tom DiNapoli announced he has banned the involvement of placement agents, paid intermediaries and registered lobbyists in investments with the Common Retirement Fund (CRF).

It seems DiNapoli, is still cleaning up the mess left behind after the Hevesi debacle. Many of the firms that shaped our state pension investments are under investigation by our AG. [not good]

In a public statement, DiNapoli said. “Since I took office, we’ve worked to implement reforms that will help restore integrity and trust in this office. Banning placement agents and lobbyists from involvement in investments is the next step, and it’s a big step."

Taking a bigger step, DiNapoli said: "I ask the legislature and every statewide official to support my program bill for public campaign financing for the State Comptroller race in 2010. We can take pay-to-play out of the equation by drastically limiting what donors can contribute. I’ve already put self-imposed limits on contributions to my campaign. But public campaign financing is the best answer.”

Some people, usually with a hefty bank account, feel spending limits for campaigns is a limit to free speech. Others think it merely levels the playing field for those who would never keep up with the well connected.

No mater what you think of his job performance, DiNapoli has made his office one of the most transparent in New York State government. I think it's the model that Senator Gillibrand has used to expose her expenses.

Considering the shape of our state financial affairs, I think we are lucky to have DiNapoli handling the state pension.

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